New Research Release: The State of the Corporate Responsibility Profession

March 28, 2012

As the cliché goes, you can't know where you are going until you know where you have been. This is just as true in the CSR field as it is in life. As the debates continue over shared value versus CSR versus philanthropy, assessing the current landscape is crucial -- and figuring out how to mature the CSR profession is an untapped opportunity.

This is why BCLC and the Corporate Responsibility Officers Association (CROA) partnered to develop a new breakthrough report – “The State of the Corporate Responsibility Profession.” The report is one of the first in the field to provide a snapshot of where the CSR profession and industry stands today. Of course, we also have a fair share of suggestions about how to advance the field.

For the study, BCLC and the CROA surveyed CSR stakeholders including academics, practitioners, and recognized thought leaders. The results may be surprising to some, but for most they reflect what we already know … so, allow us to be among the first to state it: CSR as a field and a profession still has a long way to go.

“Corporate Responsibility really hasn’t become a distinct profession at this point.”

– CR Practitioner, From Report Findings

Among the nine different key findings from the study, our research found that the characteristics that define a mature profession, such as an educational curriculum and a career pipeline, currently are lacking in the corporate responsibility (CR) profession. Overall, the report finds that while there is an increasing focus on CSR/corporate citizenship, there are still gaps remaining that could strengthen the position of the field in the business community.

View the full report findings on our website.

“Corporate responsibility as we know it today has only existed a few decades. The CR field is more intertwined than ever in smart business strategy, but it stands at a critical crossroads in its development into a mature profession.”

– Stephen Jordan, BCLC

We know you’ll want to know more about this, which is why the findings will be the topic of Friday’s Conversations with Stephen: The State of the CSR Profession webcast. Join BCLC's Stephen Jordan and CROA’s Richard Crespin as they examine the report’s findings and provide insights into the report’s larger implications for the business community. Register for the webcast here and follow the conversation on Twitter #BCLConCSR.